The term blackbird loosely refers to a diverse group of about 10 species of North American birds that belong to the subfamily Icterinae. The various species of blackbirds have several traits in common


While blackbird species are different in their nesting and feeding habits, most blackbirds share the same coloration and flocking behaviors. Blackbirds possess some very distinct characteristics and behaviors that make them easily identifiable. 


Aside from their bright yellow eyes, long legs, and black beaks, blackbirds can vary depending on gender, and location. Blackbirds typically range in size between 23.5 to 29 centimeters in length, have a long tail, and weigh anywhere from 2.8 to 4.5 ounces. 

Male blackbirds: Typically have black, midnight-blue, and greenish iridescent feathers. Males also feature orange to yellow rings around their eyes. Depending on the species, males might feature an additional splash of color. The red-winged blackbird, for example, has patches of scarlet feathers on each shoulder. 

Female blackbirds: Tend to have duller coloring, most often appearing brown.


Their ability to adapt to a wide range of different environments allows them a variety of acceptable nesting locations. Blackbird nesting sites are frequently found in coastal scrub, grasslands, riversides, meadows, lawns, golf courses, parks, city streets, marshes, and crop fields. Some species, like the red-winged blackbird, prefer to live in close proximity to water. Blackbirds feed in flocks and may roost in gatherings of a few birds to well over a million.

Blackbird Damage


Though they rarely roost inside homes, blackbirds will absolutely take up residence on lawns, parks, crops, gardens, and even golf courses. Blackbirds are omnivorous and eat a variety of seeds, grains, and insects. They commonly forage for ripening corn, sunflowers, citrus fruits, berries, rice, beetles, and earthworms. As such, farmlands and lawns with gardens make especially favorable nesting sites.


Though having blackbirds around can be beneficial due to the fact that they eat a number of damage-causing insects, blackbird populations are mostly harmful to agricultural crops. As they often feed in large flocks, blackbirds are capable of destroying crops in their entirety. They also leave behind collections of droppings, which may contain harmful bacteria, sometimes resulting in livestock and those who come in contact with it to become sick.

Blackbird Control

Control and Safety

There is not a method that is entirely effective, but exclusion methods can be used in conjunction with one another to reduce the possibility of blackbird feeding and roosting. Mesh netting, covering crops and gardens is perhaps the most efficient way to prevent blackbird feeding. Some other tactics can be time consuming, but using scare tactics, like the use of frequent loud bangs or reflective tapes, also have effective results.

Trapping and Removal

Blackbirds are known to become aggressive when they feel their nests are in danger. Red-winged blackbirds, have been known to attack horses and even people they feel threaten their territory. Individuals should not attempt to approach populations of blackbirds in any fashion. If blackbirds are an issue, please contact our Critter Control technicians who have the tools and training to remove the birds in the safest way possible.

We can help you get rid of blackbird problems.  Call today: 1.800.274.8837.

Critter Control of New Jersey Service Area

Tom's River, Atlantic City, Princeton, Middletown, Atlantic County, Burlington County, Mercer County, Monmouth County, Ocean County

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